“…the purpose of this Synod is not to produce more documents. Rather, it is intended to inspire people to dream about the Church we are called to be, to make people’s hopes flourish, to stimulate trust, to bind up wounds, to weave new and deeper relationships, to learn from one another, to build bridges, to enlighten minds, warm hearts, and restore strength to our hands for our common mission” (Synod Preparatory Document)
On October 17th the world celebrated the opening of the Synod: “For a Synodal Church: communion, participation, and mission”. This Synod will have a 3-phase consultation: diocesan, continental and universal. Pope Francis is asking all Catholic dioceses around the world to start consulting with parishioners and others from October 17 to hear the voices of the People of God.
In our diocese, the opening Mass for the Synod was celebrated by Archbishop Paul on Sunday 17th October at St Mary’s Pro-Cathedral. Parishes across the diocese joined in prayer for the Synod. In his homily Archbishop Paul said “The second Vatican Council was a decisive action of the Holy Spirit in the life of the church and called the church to be open to the world. This included the way the church operated itself, the involvement of all the people of God in the life of the church was to be the way of the future.
The church still has a structure and decision making levels, but the call is for all the faithful of the church to be involved. We are all on this journey together.“
The word ‘synodality’ means “walking together”. Pope Francis invites us to reflect together on what this mutual journey means for us and for our Church – from the local to the universal. In the coming weeks, we are being called to involve as many people as possible – not only those who are at our Sunday assemblies but also those Catholics who may feel disconnected – to participate in this process.
Parish Leadership Teams and Parish Pastoral Councils are being asked to allocate time to participate in this consultation and make a submission and to lead synod conversations in parish communities.
How to participate
There are various ways in which you are able to contribute:
- Gathering as part of a group. There will be opportunities in parishes and other communities to gather as part of a small group process for reflection and sharing.
- Completing an online survey – this is now available for individuals or groups to complete. Click here to link to the survey
- Submitting an email – see contact details below.
- Sending in a postal response.
There are materials below to assist with your reflection and submission.
In our diocese we are focusing on the fundamental question of the Synod, which is:
A synodal Church, in announcing the Gospel, “journeys together.”
How is this “journeying together” happening today in your local Church?
What steps does the Spirit invite us to take in order to grow in our “journeying together”?
If you wish to explore deeper the ten themes with associated questions for each theme, view this document:
A word document is provided below with the themes and a simplified question which can be used to complete your response.
In all the feedback options you are welcome to complete as much or as little as you wish.
For further background a ‘Preparatory Document’ and the ‘Vademecum’ or Official Handbook can be found on the Synod website.
More information will be posted here as the process evolves.
Diocesan Synod Contact:
Catholic Diocese of Christchurch
PO Box 4544